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About Salina J Photography

Hi, I am Salina, a senior portrait photographer working in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota (based in Lakeville, but my sessions are not limited to that city). My availability for 2015 is limited, so 2016 high school graduates, contact me soon to set up your session! I look forward to hearing about your ideas and helping you turn them into amazing senior pictures.

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Class of 2015 Senior Portraits – Minneapolis – The Importance of Light

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

First things first – Minnesota high school seniors, I am now booking into September and October for senior portrait sessions. Contact me today to get on my schedule as open slots are dwindling! If you’re looking for a family photographer this fall, I am booking past clients and referrals from past clients only, but I’m happy to refer you to some great family photographers in the area if you are new to Salina J Photography as I am no longer accepting new family/child clients at this time (focusing instead on senior portraits and head shots – anyone can book with me for those!).

Now… anyone who has heard me talk about photography knows I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to the technical side. My vision as an artist is first and foremost, but photography is nothing without the right light. When shooting outdoors, the light doesn’t always cooperate. My clients and I might be outside and there’s too much sun in a spot with a great view, or if we’re in a wooded area, there might not be enough light to take advantage of the pretty background and still get light in the eyes and a proper balance between the illumination of the face and the background.

I don’t always need it, but I bring supplemental lighting to every  session. Not only can I help boost the ambient (natural) light wherever I am, I can also do some creative shots that simply aren’t possible without additional lighting. For example, if you’ve seen my photographs of seniors with beautiful sunsets behind them, I had to use a light in an umbrella to create those. Otherwise the face would be totally dark in order to see the sunset.

Here’s a great example from a recent session showing why I bring my lighting gear to a session. I was photographing this class of 2015 Lakeville senior in Northfield and wanted to use a path in the outdoor area we were in. The sun was behind Rachel which highlighted her hair perfectly, I loved the trees and the light filtering through them, but it was too dark to get catchlights in Rachel’s eyes. In order to keep the background looking the way I wanted, without a flash Rachel’s face would be underexposed. I could increase my exposure so that her face would be bright enough, but that meant sacrificing the background (also, a too-bright or “blown” background draws the eye away from the subject). So I quickly set up my flash on a light stand and was able to get the gorgeous shot of Rachel on the right, with both her face and the background in perfect balance, lighting-wise.

Salina J Photography Blog Image

Head over to my Instagram feed to see the portrait I took of Rachel at the end of her session with the amazing sunset behind her – also made possible by my trusty flash and lighting skills.

 

Go Big or Go Home – Choosing the Right Print Size for Your Walls

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I love offering printed products to my clients. Digital negatives are convenient, and my clients do purchase them, but they and I know that a digital negative is more likely to rest on a hard drive or in a tablet’s photo album than be seen in the home. We are so accustomed to having photos available to us in pixels we forget to print those photos and display them in our homes, either as prints or in albums.

My clients know the value in seeing their portraits professionally printed – they hire me because they know that I, as a print-focused photographer, know how to prepare my digital negatives for the print process. Colors will be rich, skin tones will be natural and there will not be distracting areas that are too bright or too dark. To help my clients with their selections, one benefit I offer is in-person ordering. After the session is complete, my clients can schedule an ordering session at my studio or in their home, where they can see and touch samples of different albums, canvases or large prints.

One of my favorite parts about this is bringing multiple sizes of prints to a client’s home. In some cases, my clients have never ordered a print larger than an 8×10. They think of that as the “large” size, when in reality an 8×10 is considered a desk print, or is meant to be clustered in a grouping of other photos or art work. So during our ordering session, when I recommend a 16×20 for a particular wall where they’d like to display the smiling faces of their kids, at first they are skeptical… until I compare how the wall looks adorned with an 8×10 and then with a 16×20.

Prints seen from a distance, like those displayed on a wall, should be large enough that the faces are clear without someone having to walk up to inspect. Clients should also take into consideration the scale of the walls and the furniture. A print meant for a shelf in an office can be smaller, but so many newer homes now have soaring ceilings and rooms with oversized furniture.

A client sent me a photo yesterday of her bedroom with a print of her children newly hung above the bed. At her ordering session, I first held up some 16×20 prints, as they initially thought about ordering one 16×20 of each child. Then I held up my 20×30, the largest sample I have. The clients loved the idea of having one bigger print for the wall, but my client said “I don’t think that’s big enough.” So we ordered the portrait as a 24×36 Elevated mount (this is a modern option that comes ready to hang, and the edges can be finished in black, white, silver or wood-tone).

Here you can see the finished product! I am so happy she shared this photo, I love seeing the results.

Salina J Photography Blog Image

Just for fun, I edited the image to show what the print would look like had she ordered it in an 8×12 size. The difference is amazing! So the next time you order a print of your favorite portrait, whether through a photographer or on your own, think about sizing up. Use a piece of newspaper or cardboard cut to a larger print size and tape it to the wall where you’d like to hang your photograph and see which size works best for your space. Big isn’t always the answer, but in many cases it will help fill your space and showcase the smiling faces all the better.

Salina J Photography Blog Image

Models Needed – Summer 2013 | Senior Pictures Availability | What’s New

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Casting Call MN Photographer Photography Lakeville Northfield Edina

Hello, and happy summer!

Senior portrait session is underway in Minnesota, and I’ve got some good availability left for those who are just starting to research their senior pics photographer or who are trying to decide. Remember to check with your high school to find out when your yearbook photo is due – that will help you figure out when you should hold your session! I’ve got more answers to senior FAQs at my seniors-only website here – Salina J Seniors. My clients love having a site dedicated to their age only, without having to sift through portfolios with newborn and family photography. Check it out! Whether you live as far away as cities like Maple Grove or Rochester (maybe you’re even from Iowa or Wisconsin!) or are nearby in places like Lakeville, Northfield or Edina, I’ve got great locations to fit your vision for the perfect senior session.

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Are you comfortable in front of a camera? Do people tell you you have an amazing smile, great charm, a mysterious demeanor or a unique look? I have a few projects in mind for the summer of 2013 and I’m looking for fresh faces. If you are new to Salina J Photography and would like to be featured in a photographic project as a model (I use the term loosely here – you don’t have to be a pro or even amateur model, I’m looking for real people with a variety of looks), contact me at salina@salinajphotography.com with your age, a clear photo or two (recent), general availability and contact information. If you are under 18, you must have a parent contact me. I look forward to hearing from you!

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I have a few new things planned for 2013. One of them is a great referral and incentive program for my fabulous clients. You can earn points that you can use toward buying digital negatives or prints from past or future sessions just for liking Salina J Photography on Facebook, following me on Instagram, and referring me to new clients who are just as amazing as you. I’m also introducing mobile apps for certain collections – a great way to share your favorite photos from your session with me right from your phone or tablet, without having to access a separate gallery or website. And soon I’m adding a special everyday mini session for clients who don’t necessarily need a full session – it’s great for families and seniors who are looking to update portraits more regularly than once every few years, who know they will only need a few poses or who are on a budget but still recognize and appreciate fine photography.

Questions? Give me a call at 612-567-3129 or visit my contact page at my main portrait site or my senior portrait site. Can’t wait to meet you and learn about the photos you want me to create for you.

 

 

Alex – Class of 2013 in Snowy St. Paul, MN

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Alex is a student at St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts, and he and his parents wanted a senior portrait session that would reflect his musical side as well as use the downtown area as a backdrop, as a reminder to where Alex spends so much of his time.

Yes, it was cold. Yes, there was snow on the ground. But we Minnesotans are hardy and Alex never let it show if he was freezing. We moved through skywalks and along sidewalks and I chose some great spots with wonderful light. The first image of Alex of his guitar was officially my first favorite senior picture of 2013. As soon as I clicked the shutter I knew it was spectacular, and I was right – Alex’s parents ordered it as a 16×20 canvas and it was stunning!


Minnesota class of 2014 students – it’s not too early to start thinking about who will take your senior pics! I am offering a discount to 2014 seniors who book before the end of June, so give me a call or write soon (612-567-312p or salina@salinajphotography.com). Now that it appears the snow is gone for good (finally!) it’s time to start thinking about summer and what to wear for your portraits. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Graduating Class of 2013 – Not Too Late for Senior Pictures!

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Hello, Class of 2013!

You’re winding down your senior year, counting the days until high school is over, getting ready for your graduation party and warmer summer months.

If you still need senior portraits, it’s not too late! I’ve been doing sessions for other seniors in your graduating class all spring, with more coming up. Maybe you didn’t have time to get them done last fall, maybe you didn’t like how the first ones turned out, maybe you were waiting for your braces to come off. No worries – give me a call at 612-567-3129 or write at salina@salinajphotography.com and I will get you scheduled. It’s ideal to have the session at least 4-6 weeks before you need to send your grad announcements, but if it’s sooner than that, we can make something work.

I look forward to hearing from you! Enjoy these last few months of your high school career.

{Are you a member of the Class of 2014? If you book before the end of your junior year, you will get a discount on your session fee, so contact me today!}

 

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